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What are the safest ways to store gold and precious metals?

If you are a successful gold prospector or simply a collector of gold and other precious metals, then you need a secure way to store your treasures.

Hiding gold under the mattress or in some obscure location is never a good idea. Thieves are smart enough to know that you are likely to hide your most valuable items, and will search thoroughly if they think you’ve got something worth looking for.

There are really only a few ways to for securely storing gold in my opinion. Let’s take a look at a few good options.

Buried Lost Treasures


Home Safe & Security


If you have a significant amount of precious metals, then I do personally do not recommend keeping it at home. A home safe can be an effective option for storing small to moderate amounts of precious metals, but they all have their vulnerabilities. If you do decide to store your gold this way, then choose a high-quality, fire-resistant safe that is securely anchored to the floor or wall.

All safes are not created equal. You can buy a cheap security safe for as little as $20 to $30. Yes, it has a lock on it, but breaking into it would much too easy.

Larger, heavier safes with added anti-theft features are required if you plan to store a sizable quantity of gold in your home. Good safes often incorporate a range of anti-theft features to enhance security and deter unauthorized access. Here are some common anti-theft features to look for in high-quality safes:

  • Solid Construction: A good safe is constructed with thick and durable materials, such as steel, to resist physical attacks. The walls, door, and hinges should be robust and resistant to cutting, drilling, and prying.
  • Bolt Mechanism: Safes typically have strong locking bolts that extend into the frame of the safe when locked. The more bolts and the larger their diameter, the more secure the safe. Bolts should be made of hardened steel and ideally extend on all sides of the door.
  • Combination Lock or Digital Keypad: Safes offer various types of locking mechanisms, including combination locks or digital keypads. Combination locks provide mechanical security, while digital keypads offer electronic access with PIN codes. Look for high-quality locks that are resistant to tampering, manipulation, or electronic hacking.
  • Fire Resistance: While not directly related to theft, fire resistance is an important feature to protect valuable items in case of a fire. Look for safes with fire-resistant ratings and insulation materials that can withstand high temperatures and protect contents from heat and smoke damage.
  • Anchoring Options: Safes should have provisions for securely anchoring them to the floor, wall, or other surfaces. Bolting the safe down makes it much more difficult for thieves to remove or manipulate the safe.
  • Alarm Systems: Some high-end safes offer built-in alarm systems that activate if unauthorized access is attempted. These alarms may include motion sensors, vibration detectors, or tamper sensors, providing an added layer of security.
  • Heavy: One of the most basic, but important features of a good safe is that it should be heavy. All the safety features in the world won’t matter if a thief is able to pick it up and move it. A heavy safe weighting hundreds, or even thousand of pounds is a serious deterrent to all but the most determined thieves.
  • Remember, no safe is entirely impervious to determined and well-equipped thieves. However, incorporating multiple anti-theft features can significantly increase the security level of a safe and act as a strong deterrent against theft attempts. You should also pair it with a good home security system to add an extra layer of protect.


    Bank Safe Deposit Box


    This is the best option for storing gold in my opinion. A bank safe deposit box is a secure storage facility provided by banks to their customers. Here’s how they typically works:

  • Rental Agreement: To rent a safe deposit box, you’ll need to visit a bank branch and enter into a rental agreement. The agreement outlines the terms and conditions, rental fees, and access procedures for the safe deposit box.
  • Box Sizes and Availability: Banks offer a range of safe deposit box sizes to accommodate different storage needs. Their smallest size is usually more than enough for storing precious metals, and the cost is very reasonable.
  • Access Authorization: You will be required to provide identification and other necessary documentation to prove your identity and eligibility to rent a safe deposit box. This may include a valid photo ID, proof of address, and possibly additional documentation based on the bank’s requirements.
  • Secured Location: Safe deposit boxes are typically located in secure vault areas within the bank. These vaults are designed with advanced security measures, such as access controls, surveillance cameras, alarms, and dedicated bank personnel overseeing the area.
  • Access Control: To access your safe deposit box, you will typically need to go to the bank during their operating hours. The bank may require you to present identification and sign in before granting you access to the vault area.
  • Box Access: The safe deposit box area is designed to provide privacy. You will be directed to a private viewing room or area near the vault. Only you or authorized individuals with proper authorization and documentation can access your safe deposit box.
  • Key or Combination: To open the safe deposit box, you will use either a key or a combination lock, depending on the specific design of the box. Most banks vaults require two keys—one held by you and the other held by a bank representative—to ensure dual control.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality: The bank ensures the privacy and confidentiality of your safe deposit box contents. Bank personnel are typically not aware of what you store in the box unless you disclose it.
  • It’s important to note that the bank is not responsible for the contents of the safe deposit box. It is your responsibility to securely store and insure the valuables inside. Additionally, safe deposit box access may be restricted in certain situations, such as during bank holidays or if there is a legal order or requirement.

    While not impossible, thefts occurring at safe deposit boxes is incredibly low. The security measures put in by the bank make it incredibly difficult to access a bank vault undetected.


    Sell Your Gold


    If you are looking for the absolute safest option, then it would actually be to not hold any gold at all. Instead, sell your gold and keep the cash in a bank savings or checking account.

    Holding any valuable physical item has some risk. Cash in the bank has many safeguards that protect it. Protecting the money now becomes the banks responsibility, and any loss would be protected by FDIC insurance.

    Of course, if you actually want to own and hold gold, then this is not going to be an option. Many would also argue that the benefit of having gold is to protect yourself from any major economic disaster where cash is devalued or not readily available. Nonetheless, I know many gold prospectors who sell all of the gold they find and don’t both holding any gold at all.

    Many people prefer to have gold on hand in case there is some sort of natural disaster, economic turmoil or a dollar collapse that would prevent easy access to cash. If this is the reason you hold onto gold, then cash in the bank is not the option for you.

    You can also sell your physical gold and then buy mining stocks or a Gold ETF in the stock market. This would be a way of still having an investment in gold without the risk associated with actually holding the metal.


    Safely Storing Gold


    When it comes to safe storage of gold, these are really the main ways to do it. Of course, you can always dig a hole in the back yard, stash it somewhere out in the woods, or otherwise hide it in a “safe place,” but without truly securing it you can never know that it’s truly safe.

    Personally, I keep all of my gold in a bank safe deposit box. I can visit it whenever I want, whether to add new gold nuggets that I’ve found to my collection or taking a piece or two out to sell it for cash.

    Whatever you do, be smart and don’t take risks with something so valuable.

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    Updated: July 2, 2023 — 7:10 pm
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